Hawaiians collect titles in monster Maui waves
HAWAIIAN surfers Paige Alms and Ian Walsh won the World Surf League Big Wave Tour Pe'ahi Challenge in towering 30-to-40 foot-plus conditions at the world famous Pe'ahi in Haiku, Maui.
The second event of the season tested the top big- wave chargers as a solid swell delivered massive surf over two days at Pe'ahi, with wave faces exceeding 45 feet.
Alms defended her event title after defeating a stacked field of competitors in the final. Alms, who became the first women's Big Wave Champion at Pe'ahi last season, made history again with her unprecedented big wave victory.
"I feel so grateful to be able to sit out in an empty line-up at firing, perfect Jaws,” she said.
"It doesn't get much better than that. Every single one of the women today sent it on a bomb.
"There were big waves out there and I was kind of kicking myself for not going on one set, but I just feel super stoked and honoured.”
The Women's Pe'ahi Challenge had all six competitors charge monstrous set waves in the 60-minute final.
Alms used her local knowledge to take off on two gigantic waves for the winning score, a 21.23 (out of a possible 30).
"Anyone that says they're not scared of this place, I think they're lying,” she said.
"I think it's the most powerful and intimidating big wave anywhere in the world, by far.
"I definitely look up to Ian (Walsh) and I'm super stoked that he won it.”
Walsh earned his career- first BWT victory after dominating his first round heat and the final series.
The 34-year-old, who was invited to compete as an event wildcard, at his home break in Haiku, vaulted up to third place on the BWT rankings.